SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A coalition of lawyers, investigators, volunteers and companies is offering a $3,000 reward for information that solves or leads to convictions in any of the 200 unsolved cases of killings and disappearances in Utah.
The founders of Utah Cold Case Coalition announced the reward Tuesday while gathered with family members of victims.
Rewards have never been offered for most of these cases, said Karra Porter, one of the coalition’s founders. Many have stayed unsolved because families were unable to bring attention to the crimes, she said.
“We want as much information as possible to input into that database,” Porter told The Salt Lake Tribune.
The coalition is hoping its efforts will be aided by “Rosie’s Law,” which the state Legislature passed earlier this year to create a statewide database of killings and disappearances that have gone unsolved for at least three years. The coalition is helping design the system intended to share case information among investigators.
The law is named after Rosie Tapia, a 6-year-old girl killed in Salt Lake City in 1995.
“It’s a good thing because it helps my daughter’s case, but it helps everyone else, too, who has a cold case,” Lewine Tapia told the Deseret News, referring to the state database.
Investigating cold cases is time-consuming and can drain resources, but officers have received some grant funding to support the work, Ogden Police Capt. Danielle Croyle said.
“We need resources. We need information from the community,” Croyle said. “We need to have support networks so we can make sure families continue to get closure.”
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